Then They Came for Me and There Was No One Left to Speak for Me in Destination

Auschwitz and Auschwitz II – Burkina are the 4th and 5th concentration camps I have visited and the shock, horror, and palpable suffering of these monstrous places never diminishes.  The ladies and I were in Krakow over the weekend primarily to tour this most heinous of places, and at the risk of getting too political, the timing could not have been more appropriate. They came for me at my destination.

It is places like this that remind us to love each other, stand up for what is right, and choose compassion, understanding, and empathy over hate, bigotry, and blind, unquestioning consequence.

This first set of pictures is from Auschwitz.  What you might not know is that this camp was originally built for Polish prisoners of war and as such, the dormitories were relatively decent.  The camp is also quite small.  So small in fact, that soon, a larger facility was required to house the displaced Jews and other undesirables.

This was how Auschwitz II – Burkina came to be built.  In time Auschwitz III and additional subcamps were added as well. As is the case with all concentration camps, the perimeter was heavily fortified with two sets of electrified barbed wire.

Guard houses were interspersed at regular intervals and armed men would be housed in them, always watching.  Something particularly sinister about this camp was that a group of prisoner musicians was required to play upbeat nationalistic music here by the entrance day in and day out.

In a moving series of exhibitions, the visitor gets a visual slap to the face regarding the number of people who died here.  It is one thing to hear that 1.5 million victims died here, but to see the mountains of brushes, glasses, suitcases, and shoes is truly staggering.

The most horrific example I saw was the unbelievable piles of human hair.  We were asked not to photograph this exhibit in respect for the victims, but believe me when I say it was by far one of the most terrifying and deeply saddening things I have ever seen.

Piles, easily 10 feet high and 15 feet wide composed entirely of a disturbing multicolor quilt of a human hair (some in braids others in tails), were displayed like the most macabre haystacks ever known.  And this, of course, was only a small percentage of the hair collected.

As we listened to the guide tell us these things what came to the forefront of my mind was how the Germans, who despised the Jews and thought them so far beneath them, we’re able to use not only the stolen personal property of the Jews (things like their underwear) but were able to wear the Jews themselves.  The hair was knitted into socks and blankets.

How incredibly chilling

Photographs like this of Junkie Freedman show how little time the victims were here at the camp.  Originally the SS photographed the victims like criminals for record-keeping, but the number of victims quickly became overwhelming and the practice stopped.

The photographs also made you realize that in those pictures of the victims finally being liberated; those poor, starved, and sick individuals were the “lucky” ones who had only been deported to the camp in the final month or two of their existence.  It was clear from the photographs that very few people lived past a month in the camp.


For My Mother Who Loves and Supports Me for Destination

It’s been a while – it’s also like the fifth time I’ve said that this year.  In my defense, it’s been a tough couple of months, and I am just now seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.  Speaking of light, how glorious are these photos of the Acropolis in Athens?

I spent a delightful 10 days over Easter break with a gal pal from Texas soaking up all the archeological sights, orthodox churches, wacky GPS free driving, beaches, feta, and souvlaki as possible.

I might ruffle a few feathers here, but Greece, and Athens in particular, has the “devil may care” and general shabbiness I associate with much of South America.  It’s a bit like the armpit of Europe, but as long as you are prepared for the stink, you can get along just fine.

The main thing to see in Athens is the Acropolis, which I found out is the large plateau that is the site for the Parthenon and additional ruins.  This plateau has been home to temples for basically ever and dominates the hilly landscape of Athens.

On your way up to the main event, you pass by shrines and amphitheaters perfectly preserved. I also discovered that these lady columns are replicas – the original ones are in the Acropolis museum down below (and one is in the British Museum because of ancient site robbing and all that).

In between dodging all the selfie sticks I took a moment to recall my art history courses and debated the types of columns I was seeing.  Doric, Ionic, and the other one  I also, as usual, marveled at the engineering and sheer brute strength it would have taken to move and shape these massive stones.

The Parthenon is in a sad state of disrepair.  Again, most of the beautiful carvings and friezes are housed in the museum and the temple had a solid stone roof at one time, now it seems that the scaffolding is a permanent addition to this iconic building.

After feasting our eyes on these lovey ruins, we ventured down to the museum after a wonderful lunch that featured what would become my favorite food of Greece – the feta in phyllo with honey and sesame seeds.  Guess who was at the museum with us?  Angela Merkel the German Chancellor! Say what! I got real close to her as we both appreciated the same piece of statuary.

The afternoon and evening were spent in search of a Byzantine style ring I was obsessed with and with checking out the goods for sale in the Plaka – the tourist-heavy but charming shopping area of town.  I ended up with that ring, and as usual, far more than I originally set out for.


The Navel of the World Destination

The joy of fleeing the city of Athens was only somewhat diminished by the truly deplorable service at Europe Car.  Two and a half hours later (and after walking up and down the arrivals hall of the airport looking for the Europe Car kiosk only to eventually be pointed to a gentleman eating a sandwich in a cafe who dared to proclaim “what, you didn’t see the sign” while pointing to the placard lying face down on the counter when we asked if he was the Europe Car representative) we were blissfully taking in the hilly vista on our way to Delphi.

The ancient temple site of Delphi is located on the beautiful slope of a verdant mountain overlooking a stunning valley.  The hike is entirely uphill and your approach is just as the faithful did thousands of years ago.  The first stop is the shopping arcade.

At one time, the perimeter of the square was roofed and merchants kept their shrines and offerings in the arched storage rooms behind their shops. After purchasing your offering, you traveled uphill past small shrine temples to the bank.

Here worshippers would leave a sum of money for the maintenance of the site

Higher up is the once-glorious Temple of Apollo.  This was the sanctuary of the Oracle. I was deeply disappointed that I didn’t see any writhing virgins like in the movie 300 – such is life.

Further, still, you can see how imposing the temple must have been and what a prime view of the valley it has.

The theater and the stadium were the final structures to see and I think that you will find the fact that the athletes competed naked to be just as interesting as I did.

A bit further down the road from the temple site is the Tholos and the sanctuary of Athena. Ruins of earlier temples littered the ground.

Up and over the imposing mountains we traveled, making sharp turns with stomaches clenching as sheer drops loomed ever closer. It was about two hours into our journey when we realized our GPS wasn’t working.

Lost in the remote and deserted mountains of central Greece we stumbled our way to Meteora relying on the (thankfully) working GPS on my phone.  The drive took much longer than we expected, but as the incredible rock formations loomed in the purple twilight, it was more than worth the effort.


The Destinations Glass Beach in California and Wonderful Places in Italy

In the early twentieth century, the residents of Fort Bragg in California regularly throwing waste on the beach which today is known as beach glass, so this place used to be “eternal” numerous types of waste, glass, household appliances, and cars… But today this place is a real tourist attraction!

When Glass Beach in California valid for certain landfills, as they called locals, it was owned by the company “Union Lumber”. At the moment when the beach became completely buried, trash pallets to release new space for more waste.

Even this beach was closed and it was forbidden to throw garbage and originated and mass actions for its final cleaning, so over the next few decades and waves have tried to completely clean up the beach, leaving behind only small smooth pieces of glass in all colors, so today the whole beach is covered with glass, and once again, what we consider to be junk, nature has turned into an amazing landscape.

On the beach was bought by the National Park of California, and additional cleaning, it became part of the park MekKeriher. In the past few years, beach glass has become increasingly popular among tourists who come here looking for the most beautiful piece of glass to take home with him as a souvenir. However, this activity of tourists is a kind of crime because today is strictly forbidden to remove the glass from the beach.

Wonderful places that are forbidden to visit

Letters of Michelangelo the application of Henry VIII annulment of marriage and many other papers here have found their place, and do not believe that will ever be available to them “ordinary mortals”.
Some are wrapped in secrecy, and to some, it is impossible to get to. One thing is common to all these places, and that is that we can visit and look.

The tomb of Emperor Qin Shi Huang

Surely you’ve heard of the popular terracotta warriors who guard the tomb of the emperor in China. So far a total drawn two thousand statues of soldiers, all of which are different, and it is believed that underground is eight thousand. However, research and excavations are still ongoing, and while the soldiers can be seen, perhaps the grave will never be able to see it because the Chinese observe the rites of burial.

Cave of Lascaux, France

This complex of caves in southwestern France is painted with drawings from the Paleolithic era. In other words, the drawings here are up to 17 thousand years. Caves are listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site, and to preserve the last few years they have been closed to the public.

The volcanic island Heard

This volcanic island belonging to Australia, but are placed quite far away from its coast, making it one of the most remote places on the globe. He is a true oasis of life because it found its place penguins, seals … But the island is interesting because ten years ago it was discovered that it exists and an active volcano. Indeed, it would be interesting to see, but the problem is that it is supposed to sail at least two weeks from another land.

Island of snakes, Brazil

Not far from Sao Paulo is settled this famous island, which almost completely inhabits many species of poisonous snakes. They have almost about 4 thousand, but the locals swear that it has more, so the claim that every five square meters island comes after a snake. Here accessible only to scientists because of their research, and it only every few years.

Vatican secret archives

Hidden deep within the Vatican walls, it is difficult to believe that these documents would ever become available “mere mortals”. Letters of Michelangelo the application of Henry VIII annulment of marriage and many other papers can have found in this place.


You Should Go to Your Dream Destination

What is your dream?

Do you even have a dream destination?

As I’ve discussed on the home page, I went for a long time without a real dream. Without something that I wanted to do with my life without something that would challenge me. Without something that would give me a sense of purpose in life. Without something that would challenge me to reach beyond my comfort zone and accomplish something truly worth accomplishing.

That’s a lot to do without.

What are you doing without?

Do you just go through the motions in life with nothing to challenge you to reach for excellence and strive for something that will change you, your friends, your community, your family, or some other group of people important to you?

Do you have something that has been nagging at you for years — or decades — and you just haven’t stepped up and done your best to make it happen?

Or, are you much further along? Have you started making plans on how you will make your dream come to life? Perhaps, you’ve already started working on that plan and you’re ready to tell the world what you’re going to accomplish.

Maybe you’re making progress, but you’ve hit a slump and you need help or advice on how to deal with an obstacle.

Perhaps you don’t even know how to get started.

A Year from Now is dedicated to the belief that we can make substantial progress on achieving our dreams in as little as a year from now.

In the early year, after months of thinking, I identified my dream and what I want to accomplish with the next phase of my life. I’ll be talking about this in a section to be called My Dream…

This section and our A Year from Now Forum is where we will help you share with others, ask for help, and offer advice and help to others who have chosen to share their dreams.

This section is for you

Our e-zine, “Act on Your Dream!” will feature stories about your dream and the dreams of others who participate here. It is my goal to feature success stories and stories from people who are working resolutely to achieve success by acting on their dream.

This site will grow only with your participation. Nobody wants to hear me talk about nothing but my dream month after month after month — well nobody but me.

What are your 1 most important dreams?

What are you doing (or going to do) to make it real?

Some sample dreams that are shared by many people:

Start your own business — Not everyone is suited for owning and managing a business. What does it take to create and manage a business of your own? Is this for you? Here is some home business information to help you get started.

Get out of debt — How can you achieve your full potential if you are drowning in a sea of debt? As your debt grows, you continue to mortgage your future and decrease your options. How are you going to get out of debt?

Further your education — So, you want to go back to school. Why? What do you want to accomplish? What will you study? How do you plan to use what you learn? What obstacles are you trying to overcome?

Visit your favorite travel destinations — Do you want to travel and see the world? Or, would you rather help others by telling them more about your corner of the planet? What do you want to learn about traveling and what can you tell us about your travel adventures?

Start or expand your family — Perhaps you’d rather improve your relationships or strengthen your family ties. What are your goals for your personal and family life?

What is your most important dream? — There are thousands of things you may want to do that aren’t listed here — yet. Let’s discuss it.

You’re welcome to tell us about your goals and plans on our A Year from Now Forum. It only takes a moment to register to participate on the forum — no charge — and then validate your registration by clicking a link that will be sent to you via email (to verify that you are a real person with a real address and not someone who is trying to spam the group).

Where can we be a year from now if you and others come and share your dreams and work together to help each other succeed? I truly believe we can make substantial progress on achieving our dreams — whether they are huge dreams or small goals — in as little as a year. But, and this is very important, you must Act on Your Dream.

Adventure Travel

The Best Things to Do in Bratislava for Adventure Travel

Bratislava is a beautiful city and one that we think doesn’t get enough holiday attention. Situated in Europe between Austria and Hungary, it’s the only national capital that is bordered by two countries. Plus with its rich and diverse culture, there’s much to enjoy in this European city and as a bonus, Bratislava is one of the cheapest places in Europe to visit! So there’s no excuse!

However, because of this, many people visit purely to enjoy the cheap drink, which (as you can imagine) makes it a key destination for stag parties. The problem is because the alcohol (and pretty much everything else) is so cheap many stag parties fail to notice that there’s much more to this city than just drinking! So for those of you who are planning to go on a Bratislava stag, read on for some exciting ideas about what to do…

Quad Biking

Definitely a great activity for all the petrol heads out there! This is a great alternative way to explore and sight-see in Slovakia. It’ll also give you a chance to go off the beaten track and get to grips with the local and natural terrain. So if you like adrenaline then this one is definitely for you!

Clay Pigeon Shooting

This is a great and popular European activity. If you’re not sure what it is then let us give you a quick explanation. It involves a shotgun and you aiming at clay targets that are propelled into the air (where you’re supposed to shoot them mid-air.) Sounds exciting, doesn’t it? Well, it is, and once you’ve shot a few targets we promise you’ll be hook and feeling like a real sharpshooter.

White water rafting

Not exactly what you’d expect from Bratislava is it? However, it’s true, because in the city there’s built a manmade white water rafting course that has more rapids and drops than you can handle! So make sure you take some swimming trunks and clothes you don’t mind getting wet because you are going to get wet!


Oh, of course, we’re going to save the best activity for last because in our opinion this is the best and the most exciting stag party activity ever. So if you want something that’s going to gets the blood pumping then how about grabbing a sled and whizzing down a 360-meter slope at 50km/h? Just remember though the season lasts till April to September so make sure you go during those times.

Anyway, that’s it for our best of Bratislava

See? There’s much more to do during your stay than just drink and go clubbing. We also recommend taking in some of the local historic sights and hot spots as well while you’re there. After all, you’ve paid to go to another country so why not learn a bit more about it and see some of its national sights?

Adventure Travel

Where to Stay for Adventure Travel When Visiting Amsterdam

Amsterdam is a great old historic city located in the Netherlands. It is among the hottest tourist destinations in Europe for adventure travel. Every single year, lots of people flock to this particular city to experience the culture along with the landscapes.

Finding A Place to Stay Amsterdam

The only problem with holiday destinations such as these will be accommodations. Most hotels tend to be fully booked upon peak seasons and could even be expensive. Finding a hotel inside the scenic spots can end up being a challenging task specifically around Amsterdam. Luckily, apartments are right now gaining popularity as an option for lodging within this area.

You get the same conveniences of hotels, however, most of all, it is a more affordable option. Nevertheless, there’s still one more roadblock. Choosing the perfect apartment can additionally end up being an arduous job on its own. Deterring the best apartment may spell the difference between a wonderful vacation and a catastrophe. Don’t fret.

Have you heard of Short Stay Apartments Amsterdam? It is an online reservation system for apartments in Amsterdam. They provide highly sophisticated and stylish apartments all around the town. This is the solution to your problems.

Here are a handful of good reasons to book with Short Stay Apartment Amsterdam.

It provides you with access to a wide range of apartment providers. You can choose between several apartments that will satisfy your needs. Whether it is a studio type or even a 1 to 2 bedroom apartment, they certainly have the one you are looking for.

They possess available apartments within tourist spots all around the city. You needn’t be worried about staying out late because your apartment is just around the corner. Having accessibility is vital in this town.

Their apartment providers have already been within the hospitality business for a long time. You may expect only top-notch service which will cater to your own needs while you are in Amsterdam. They can accommodate your special requests and be sure you get the time of your life.

Their internet site is extremely simple to use. You can be certain to finish your reservation within a few minutes. Also, they provide an overview of the actual place and even a brief description of the nearby places to get your own Amsterdam adventure started.

They also possess real-time accessibility. This allows you to examine available dates and choose from the options listed. You may even narrow it down based on your preference.

They have a very devoted group of people who can help you with your inquiries. They will help you find an ideal fit for your needs. You can contact them through phone, email, or perhaps Skype.

The most important above everything else is they provide a great value for the money. They provide ideal accommodation for you without having to break the bank. Additionally, it simply takes you a few minutes to reserve.

Staying in a short stay apartment in Amsterdam will make your in Amsterdam worthwhile. It can make you concentrate on the things that matter on a vacation which is almost all the fun you will experience in the city of Amsterdam. This is the correct selection.

More information about Amsterdam and its cultural activities, tourist attractions, flower markets, red-light district, clubs, bars, nightlife, restaurants, and musea you can visit:

Reading some information will make your stay so much more worthwhile. We wish you all the best and have the most pleasant stay possible.

Adventure Travel

Couchsurfing to the Rescue for Adventure Travel

Ever since a buddy of mine introduced me to couch surfing I became a huge fan. It opened the doors to strangers’ homes, who hosted me FREE during my adventure travels in Mexico & Central America, showed me around their towns, and even became my friends.  This amazing social network helped to make a reality my lifetime dream of traveling and changed my life!

Since I was having a hard time adjusting back to regular life in California and thinking of all the great people I met through this network, I decided to look up local couch surfers

In my city

Sure enough, as soon as I went to the first event, the ball started rolling and I began to meet some awesome new friends. Several potlucks, some concerts, countless volleyball games & many parties later, I can honestly say my couch surfing network helped me get rid of the travel blues =) It is amazing how just making friends with local adventure travelers with similar values helped me adjust. I’m very glad!!


I am once again enjoying my environment very much & even realized how beautiful Southern California is. Somehow adventure traveling also helped me appreciate my new city a lot more.  I am new to this area and I got to say exploring new places work great to keep my adventurous spirit fresh.

I guess all I needed was to keep busy doing things I enjoyed and making friends. Epicurus, an ancient Greek philosopher said, “To make us entirely happy, much the greatest is the possession of friendship.” He was right.


I will be getting certified to teach English in the next few weeks, which I’m very excited about! I’m sure it will open up a whole lot of doors for me shortly. I always like to keep my options open and this seems like a great one and I love to go for adventure travel.

I will continue to learn to play my violin and maybe even find a violin instructor for a few lessons, so I can improve my learning technique.

I will continue to share my adventures and thoughts on my articles. I’m having a lot of fun making improvements to its & hearing from old and new friends with my new comment gadget. Thank You all for reading and commenting!!!

Some days I still reminisce of my time on the road, but I know I will adventure travel again when I am ready to. For now, I want to enjoy my time with family and close friends in this beautiful city, which luckily now feels a little more like home.

Have you ever had a similar situation to mine, even if it is not adventure travel related??

What did you do?

What you think about adventure travel and I am sure you did not know much more about adventure travel. I think that you should go to adventure one time in your whole life and enjoy the best looking places.

Adventure Travel

The Best Places to Visit in Ireland With Kids for Adventure Travel

I went to Ireland a few years ago with my sister and it is an unforgettable place. Some of the best places to visit in Ireland include ancient history to natural beauty with adventure.

Ireland also has a magical feel to it and is a perfect country for a family vacation. The places to visit in Ireland with kids can have you exploring castles and dungeons; biking along with beautiful scenery, or getting immersed in the country’s myths and legends.

Blarney Castle (Blarney Stone)

If you are visiting the Irish countryside be sure to visit Blarney Castle and kiss the Blarney Stone, where legend has it that one kiss will grant you the gift of gab. This isn’t easily achieved as you have to climb to the castle’s peak and then lean over backward on the parapet’s edge. But don’t worry, this is usually done with the help of an assistant and while holding on to guild rails.

The Blarney Castle is the main attraction of the grounds though, which includes gardens and Blarney Lake. Don’t rush your time here, there is much to see and do. Visit the Wishing Steps, the Estate where you can stop for a picnic, the Witch Stone and explore the dungeon if you feel adventurous.

Places to visit in Ireland with kids

The Cliffs of Moher, located at the southwestern edge of the Burren region in County Clare, are a very popular tourist attraction, with people coming here to take in incredible views. They rise 120 meters (390 ft.) above the Atlantic Ocean with a maximum height of 214 meters (702 ft.) just north of O’Brien’s Tower, which provides the best viewing point.

Built-in 1835, the tower provides views of five Irish counties on clear days. Unfortunately, when I was there it was not the best weather, but you can still experience the wonder that is the Cliffs of Moher.

Dublin Zoo

Within Phoenix Park in Dublin, you will find the Dublin Zoo, the largest zoo in Ireland. The zoo has been in operation since 1831 and still features some original buildings that have been in operation since it opened. It covers 28 hectares and is divided into areas such as the Asian Forests, Sea Lion Cove, and African Plains, among others. You can spend the day viewing tigers, giraffes, red pandas, penguins, Arctic fox, and snowy owls just to name a few.

 Giant’s Causeway

I was very excited to go to the Giant’s causeway when we were in Ireland. The Causeway is known for its polygonal columns of layered basalt resulting from a volcanic eruption about 60 million years ago. Or, you may choose to believe the myth behind the Causeway, which says it was formed by the Irish giant Finn McCool who accepted a challenge by a Scottish giant and built the causeway so the two could meet.

There are four trails at the Giant’s Causeway that is suited for every ability, including a stroller-friendly path, a challenging coastal hike, and a new clifftop walk that families will enjoy. Kids will also enjoy walking on and exploring the causeways columns.


In southwest Ireland, you will come to the town of Killarney, which is a stop on the Ring of Kerry scenic drive. There are many activities to do in this town and you can easily spend hours exploring it all. Visit Killarney National Park where there are miles of walking and cycling trails, the Victorian mansion Muckross House and traditional farms.

Aran Islands

Aran Islands are a group of three islands located on the west coast of Ireland, at the mouth of Galway Bay. This was my favorite place to visit while on our trip. The island is beautiful and looks like what you would picture Ireland to look like, a very authentic and magical feeling. You access the island by ferry, which I didn’t enjoy because I got seasick, but it was worth it.

Explore the island by renting a bike and cycling on the gentle, small roads which people of all fitness levels can enjoy. Biking was my favorite part as it is easy to find complete isolation as well as being able to visit historical sites.

Ride your bike up to Dun Aonghasa, a famous hill fort that lies at the edge of a 100-meter high cliff and offers spectacular views. Spend time exploring the fort and take a peek over the edge! I can’t describe the Aran Islands well enough to do it any justice, it is just one of those places you have to see to believe!

National Wax Museum Plus, Dublin

This museum has so much more to offer than just wax figures. It is full of characters and exhibits and is fun for the entire family. You can get a mold of your hand done in wax, check out the Chamber of Horrors located in the basement, get hands-on in the Science and Discovery section, or hang out in the Grand Hall which offers music and entertainment. Don’t miss the Children’s Fantasy World where kids will feel like they have walked into a dream world, with plenty of colors, cartoon wax figures and pillars painted like cakes and sweets.

Bunratty Castle and Folk Park

Bunratty Castle is a large tower house in County Clare and the center of a folk park. This park is filled with reconstructions of historical cottages and buildings, recreating the feel of the 19th century. There is a small, period style village where you can find an old home bakery, shops, and a pub. While exploring the grounds you can discover plenty of animals and a play area for children with a wooden castle.

Adventure Travel

A Pleasant and Relaxing Way to Fly to New Zealand for Adventure Travel

As Thanksgiving approaches, I would like to give thanks for a wonderful year of adventure travel and the many friends who have shared the journey with me. This year I enjoyed my first trip to New Zealand, my first land-sea tour of Alaska and my first music festival at sea. It is these first time experiences that help to keep the child in me alive, and I hope I never lose that sense of awe and wonder.

Now I would like to tell you about my journey from Florida to New Zealand. I had booked three back-to-back cruises on Holland America’s Amsterdam. The first cruise was to leave Auckland, New Zealand on March 30.

I had combined their New Zealand cruise with their repositioning cruise from Sydney, Australia to Seattle. Then I decided I might as well stay on board for their first Alaska cruise of the year. I would eventually return home on May 15th, but my first challenge was how to get to New Zealand without spending over 20 hours in transit.

I found that it was 13 hours from Los Angeles to Auckland on Air New Zealand, and six hours on a non-stop flight from Miami to Los Angeles. Then I added three hours to get to the airport and check-in, plus two hours for a layover in Los Angeles, plus one hour to get from the airport to my hotel in Auckland for a total of 25 hours of travel time. No thanks! There had to be a better way.

I had been to Honolulu on another cruise and wanted to see more of it. So I looked into the possibility of flying to Honolulu and staying overnight before flying on to Auckland. I found a flight on American that changed planes in Dallas. It left Ft. Lauderdale at 7:40 is and arrived in Honolulu at 5:45 pm. I would be in the air for eight and a half hours from Dallas to Honolulu, but that sure beat 13 hours from Los Angeles to Auckland.

My total transit time from home to the Hawaiian Hilton in Honolulu was 18 hours. I could have shaved off two hours by taking a different flight, but I wanted to arrive in time for the free Friday night show and fireworks on the beach at the Hawaiian Hilton. Watching the fireworks through the palm trees is one of my favorite memories.

The next day I had arranged a late check-out as my flight on Air New Zealand didn’t leave until 9:30 pm. The Atlantis Submarine was docked next to the Hawaiian Hilton, so I enjoyed the afternoon under the sea with lots of beautiful fish and shipwrecks.

I spent nine hours on Air New Zealand, but it was half full. I got four middle seats to myself and lay down. My flight arrived in Auckland at 5:45 am, and I went straight to my room at the Sky City Hotel where I slept until I woke up. I had let the hotel know I would be arriving at this time so they had a room ready.

By breaking up my air travel with an overnight stay in Honolulu, I felt much more relaxed throughout the two-day journey than I would have if I had tried to fly to New Zealand for adventure travel in one day. Plus I would have missed the fireworks and fun at the Hawaiian Hilton.